KOTA Cares: Black Hills Reads works to ensures no child is left behind

Updated: Apr. 27, 2023 at 7:15 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more than half of fourth graders in South Dakota are not proficient in reading.

On this week’s KOTA Cares, we spotlight Black Hills Reads, an organization addressing the importance of reading proficiency.

A child’s early exposure to literacy can build a strong foundation, not just for when they enter kindergarten, but as they advance their education.

The goal of Black Hills Reads is to help kids reach grade-level proficiency by the third grade through activities that encourage literacy.

“Between ages 0 to 5 that’s when a lot of a child’s brain is developing. So, if you’re not taking advantage of that you’re losing a lot of opportunities to help that child to build skills that they need going forward in life,” said Hanna Glissendorf, director of Black Hills Reads.

Research shows that parents who read to their children can help stimulate and strengthen their kids’ language and literacy skills.

Often children who are not reading proficiently by the third grade will struggle to catch up with their classmates.

“If you’re not reading proficiently by the third grade, you are more likely to drop out of high school, you might not be going to post-secondary education and you might not have the greatest outcomes in life overall,” added Glissendorf.

Black Hills Reads has a variety of programs that help connect parents to reading resources focusing on helping children become better readers. For a link to those resources click here.

To donate to this week’s KOTA Cares, Black Hills Reads, click here.